Grayling Day could bring court system to a halt

Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom, and Secretary of State for Justice

Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom, and Secretary of State for Justice

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Lawyers fiercely opposed to Chris Grayling’s legal aid reforms could bring the court system to a halt on what they are calling Grayling Day.

Epsom’s MP unveiled his final package of legal aid reform last week, in his capacity as Secretary of State for Justice.  The reforms include proposals that would see prisoners’ access to legal aid limited and a reduction in fees paid by the taxpayers to criminal solicitors and barriers for advocacy.

"Grayling Day" on Friday is being billed as a "demo to save legal aid" with a large demonstration expected outside Parliament.

On its website, the Justice Alliance - a group of legal organisations, charities, community groups, grassroots and other campaigning groups, trade unions and individuals - which formed in response to the reforms, states: "The Justice Alliance has called a demonstration against the sell-off of legal aid.

"The Justice Alliance has managed to bring together a significant section of lawyers, legal workers and barristers and have consistently spoken out against Grayling’s attacks on Legal Aid, so it’s well worth getting behind.

"’To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice’ - Magna Carta, 1215."

Other organisations supporting the demonstration are the Criminal Bar Association, the Criminal Law Solicitors Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association.

The nationwide protest is expected to bring the court system to a halt.

But London’s Crown Prosecution Service has written to barristers warning them that they may lose future state prosecution work if they choose to demonstrate.

The demonstration will take place on Friday, March 7, at 10am, outside Parliament at the Old Palace Yard in Westminster.  This will be followed by a march to the Ministry of Justice. 

Speakers on the day will include Paddy Hill, a member of the Birmingham Six; Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty; and Ian Lawrence of the National Association of Probation Officers.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:51pm Wed 5 Mar 14

JPR says...

Freedom of speech is dead:

"But London’s Crown Prosecution Service has written to barristers warning them that they may lose future state prosecution work if they choose to demonstrate."

Blackmail is back online...
Freedom of speech is dead: "But London’s Crown Prosecution Service has written to barristers warning them that they may lose future state prosecution work if they choose to demonstrate." Blackmail is back online... JPR
  • Score: 17

9:28pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Beverly RA says...

It our money , it's time this gravy train was stopped .
It our money , it's time this gravy train was stopped . Beverly RA
  • Score: -22

10:24pm Wed 5 Mar 14

idon't believe it says...

Beverly RA wrote:
It our money , it's time this gravy train was stopped .
Grow up! If you think legal aid is a gravy train then you've been living in a time warp. There have been 37% cuts in criminal legal aid in the past 4 years. The average legal aid firm has a profit margin of 6%. That is after they have cut staff to the bone. Grayling wants to cut by 17.5%. So all that can happen is they go out of business or stop doing legal aid work and simply do it for those rich enough to pay. Barristers are in a similar situation. So if the legal aid is cut so that lawyers make a loss, it won't be the lawyers that suffer, it will be the public. People who are wrongly accused and believe me it only takes someone to point the finger these days and you will find yourself in court.
Victims will also suffer. Who do you think prosecutes the most serious cases? It's the independent bar. If barristers cease practising criminal law then they will not be available to prosecute either.
These lawyers are protesting to protect the public. Please everyone think about the bigger picture.
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: It our money , it's time this gravy train was stopped .[/p][/quote]Grow up! If you think legal aid is a gravy train then you've been living in a time warp. There have been 37% cuts in criminal legal aid in the past 4 years. The average legal aid firm has a profit margin of 6%. That is after they have cut staff to the bone. Grayling wants to cut by 17.5%. So all that can happen is they go out of business or stop doing legal aid work and simply do it for those rich enough to pay. Barristers are in a similar situation. So if the legal aid is cut so that lawyers make a loss, it won't be the lawyers that suffer, it will be the public. People who are wrongly accused and believe me it only takes someone to point the finger these days and you will find yourself in court. Victims will also suffer. Who do you think prosecutes the most serious cases? It's the independent bar. If barristers cease practising criminal law then they will not be available to prosecute either. These lawyers are protesting to protect the public. Please everyone think about the bigger picture. idon't believe it
  • Score: 25

11:03am Tue 11 Mar 14

LiberalsOut says...

Beverly RA wrote:
It our money , it's time this gravy train was stopped .
I doubt we will see lawyers selling copies of the Big Issue to make ends meet
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: It our money , it's time this gravy train was stopped .[/p][/quote]I doubt we will see lawyers selling copies of the Big Issue to make ends meet LiberalsOut
  • Score: -1

4:55am Fri 14 Mar 14

Rajcr0 says...

To be fair public and barristers will suffer from both views and aspects in my opinion
To be fair public and barristers will suffer from both views and aspects in my opinion Rajcr0
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Thu 27 Mar 14

timsburyboy says...

Well thats a bonus for the taxpayer then,at least we get one day without having to pay for those bloated lawyers living off the state.
Well thats a bonus for the taxpayer then,at least we get one day without having to pay for those bloated lawyers living off the state. timsburyboy
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Thu 27 Mar 14

timsburyboy says...

Well thats great news,at least the taxpayer will get one day off from having to pay for that bunch of bloated parasites.
Well thats great news,at least the taxpayer will get one day off from having to pay for that bunch of bloated parasites. timsburyboy
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree